At knit night last week, I really tried give an adequate description of the lileks.com site. I have sort of an odyssey back through fashion and time when ever I look at the lileks website. It’s true that much of the stuff here comes from way before my time, but I still enjoy the trip. This site houses one of my most favorite kitsch visuals on the web:
The Grooviest Motel in Wisconsin.
You need to click through the entire site, as you get a ‘walking tour’ of this fabulous hotel (which no longer exists). It looks like an architectural nightmare. I can picture indoor astroturf and red shag carpet. So many beautiful things came out of this era… and so many terribly ugly things too. It seems that this was really a time when people were experimenting with style. Is it me, or have we only been re-hashing styles and reliving nostalgia for the past two decades? Maybe the unique elements of fashion are as imperceptible as the impact of history to contemporary individuals.
We're havin' "Big Hair"
I sometimes think that the Old Navy and “That Seventies Show” together brought back some of the seventies fashion. And just fading from the limelight (hopefully) has been the obsession with the Eighties. I noticed that despite this ‘dip into the past,’ people are still being selective about what the bring back. Fortunately, there’s been no resurgence of ‘bell bottom’ pants or tidal wave bangs. On the other hand, all these people who adore 80’s music revivals seem to listen only the crap top 40’s. There’s no accounting for taste. Perhaps people want to embrace the vacuous and vapid culture of the 80’s because it’s as good an escape as anything else. Perhaps the nation’s young adults are regressing into their childhood because with the impending doom of failed economies and global warming there’s little else where they can run but to the past.
I barely remember the early to mid seventies, my memories include this polyester pantsuit my mother wore that had the following colors in it (avocado green, mustard yellow, and orange-red). I used to call it her “Del Monte brand” outfit. I also remember the old Betty Crocker Cookbook we had (in a ring binder). I think I tore out the page with the space cupcakes by accident. You could see my greasy little finger prints all over the page, all evidence of my obsessive pleading to make them. My mother, wasn’t much of a cook back then you see, plus she was incredibly health conscious so making cakes and cookies was almost always out of the question.
Famolare Shoes - the ones I had looked like loafers with the wavy soles.
My other memories of the 70’s include Famolare shoes, culottes in rusty orange corduroy, page boy haircuts for boys, satin roller derby jackets, the old blue Bel Air my dad used to drive, Holly Hobby and “Love Is…” posters, Jaime Lee Curtis, and Magic Rocks and Sea Monkeys. I don’t think we ever owned a circular bed or had a patch of shag carpet in our house. I’m assuming my mother probably immediately saw that as a dust magnet and allergy hazard.
Still sometimes when I look back into my childhood, I find it reassuring. Perhaps it’s because all those old things seem fresh and new again. It’s as if I was looking at them with the eyes of youth.